Ryerson Just Cut Ties With Its Student Union Amid Credit Card Spending Scandal
The uni says it lost confidence in the union.
Talk about a student shakeup. Toronto's Ryerson University announced on January 24 that it has cut ties with its longstanding student union. The uni issued a statement in which it explains how it has "lost confidence" in the union's ability to represent the school's attendees. This news comes after allegations of funds being misused by the members of the 2018-19 RSU Executive.
According to the statement issued by the school on Friday, the partnership between the uni and the union has been severed after 34 years.
"Effective immediately, the university no longer recognizes the RSU as the official student government representing Ryerson students," reads the statement from Vice-Provost of Students Jen McMillen.
"The university has lost confidence in the RSU’s ability to represent students with good governance and to supply the services that students pay for."
Apparently, back in January 2019, the school had been aware of allegations of what they call "improper use of RSU funds" by the members of the 2018-19 governance.
"The issues surrounding the RSU’s management of its internal affairs rendered the RSU in breach of its 1986 Agreement with the university," adds the statement.
"The university gave the RSU ample time to rectify the situation, but the RSU has failed to do so. Accordingly, the university has terminated the 1986 Agreement."
This decision comes days after the students' union filed a report with the Toronto Police to look into the allegations surrounding financial mismanagement last year, according to student newspaper the Eyeopener.
It is alleged that the purchases made added up to $250,00 in things like food, clothes, liquor and even club money.
Toronto Police say the report's investigator "has yet to speak to witnesses, therefore, it would not be in the best interest of the investigation to comment further," per the Toronto Star.*
An audit was requested by RSU in order to further investigate the allegations. Results will apparently be presented at the RSU’s upcoming Semi-Annual General Meeting on February 3.
Former RSU president Ram Ganesh was impeached as a result of the scandal, reports CBC. His successor, fellow former president Maklane deWever, confirmed the audit in March 2019.*
The RSU is a separate corporate entity from Ryerson University, with its own corporate governance structure, and is accountable to its members.
Directors and officers have a duty to act honestly and in good faith with a view to the best interests of the RSU and students.
According to the statement, a new student government may be formed.
The statement also made pains to assure readers that student dental and health coverage would remain in place.
"The university is committed to facilitating a process to ensure students have the opportunity to determine the structure of their representative government," McMillen adds.
"The university is fully committed to ensuring that services such as health and dental benefits and other key supports remain in place for students for the remainder of the academic year."
Ryerson says it will keep students updated throughout what it describes as a "period of transition."
Narcity has reached out to both Ryerson and the RSU for comment.
*This article has been updated.